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Catherine Murdock Dewey, One of the First Female Lawyers in Boston, Turns 100

Catherine Murdock Dewey, one of the first female lawyers in Boston, is celebrating her 100th birthday. She will be honored by the New England School of Law, in Boston, where retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman on the Supreme Court, will be present the keynote address. Dewey and two of her female law school "chums" opened their own firm, Curry, Mowler and Murdock, in 1933. They wanted to try cases instead of being relegated to legal secretary or "confidential" law firm positions. In fact, when Dewey passed the written bar exam and proceeded before the…

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Ms. JD

Ms. JD Leadership Summit ‘08 - Video of Chief Judge Kaye

At the Ms. JD Leadership Summit April 4-5 in New York City, attendees were delighted by Chief Judge Judith Kaye's opening remarks. Judge Kaye, who sits on the New York Court of Appeals, inspired the student delegates with reflections on the advancement of women in the legal profession and the challenges female lawyers still face.

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Clippings: Words of Wisdom from the Lady Lawyers Who Came Before Us

I came across the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession's Oral Histories of Women Trailblazers in the Law and thought I'd share the link. The project "prepares the oral histories of women pioneers in the legal profession nationwide" and includes contributors to Ms. JD's First Women Series, including Barbara Babcock and Judge Dorothy Nelson.

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Judge Nancy Gertner receives ABA Thurgood Marshall Award for contributions to civil and human rights

Harold Koh, Dean of Yale Law School, informs me that Judge Nancy Gertner, District of Massachusetts, will receive the 2008 Thurgood Marshall Award from the American Bar Association and the ABA Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities. The award recognizes long-term contributions to "the advancement of civil rights, civil liberties, and human rights in the United States." Justice Marshall received the inaugural award in 1992. In seventeen years, Judge Gertner is only the second woman to receive the award. (The other woman was Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg!) Other past recipients of the award are Jack Greenberg, Don Edwards, and Stephen…

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Lisa Richette, An Uncommon Judge [Clippings]

A classmate just sent me a link to Dick Polman's profile of Judge Lisa Richette in Obit Magazine, with the comment that Richette was "an amazing, inspiring, rebellious judge."

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Erin Wiley

An Interview with Justice O’Connor

This year, Cornell Law School hosted Justice Sandra Day O’Connor as its Distinguished Jurist in Residence. As part of her visit, Justice O’Connor agreed to do a sit-down interview with Erin Wiley, Co-President of the Cornell Chapter of Ms. JD. Erin: Good morning, Justice O’Connor, and thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for Ms. JD. Because one of the main purposes of Ms. JD is the empowerment of women in the law, can you talk about your experience from going from being one of four women in your law class to becoming the first woman on…

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Remarks by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg [Clippings]

Lily has written a pair of blog posts recounting a reception and CLE course that she attended with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg this week. Read about Justice Ginsburg's remarks here and here [Owens Rhetoric via Blawg's Blog].

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Catherine Roraback, Civil Rights Trailblazer [Clippings]

Catherine Roraback was the only woman in her graduating class at Yale Law School in 1948. Because of her gender, she had to come and go by the back door at the New Haven Graduate Club. She went on to champion civil liberties, litigating for the Black Panthers in the 1970s and winning the landmark Supreme Court case Griswold v. Connecticut. She passed away this week at age 87. Read more about Catherine Roraback in her Hartford Courant obituary.

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Elena Kagan

Dean Elena Kagan: Status Report on Women in the Legal Profession

 Editor's Note: As part of Ms. JD's 5th Birthday celebration, we'll be looking back at our favorite posts over the years.While Dean at Harvard Law School, now Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan penned this guest post for us. Greetings—and congratulations to all—on the launch of Ms. JD! A little over a year ago, I prepared a sort of “status report” on women and the legal profession for a talk I had the honor of delivering at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. It was a terrific opportunity to reflect on both the tremendous strides already…

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Sandra L. Lynch

The Honorable Sandra L. Lynch: First Woman Appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

The Honorable Sandra L. Lynch, Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit since 1995, is a graduate of Wellesley College and the Boston University Law School where she was Articles Editor of the Law Review. After clerking for Judge Raymond J. Pettine of the U.S. District Court for Rhode Island, Judge Lynch practiced law as an Assistant Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as General Counsel to the Massachusetts Department of Education, then in private practice at Foley, Hoag and Eliot in Boston, where she was head of the Litigation Department and handled complex…

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